AKC Government Relations (AKC GR) encourages Rhode Island residents to take action as soon as possible on S. 2443. The bill authorizes forfeiture of animals to the Rhode Island Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RISPCA) for failure to pay the cost of care for seized animals upon a finding of animal cruelty. However, the bill does not:
- Allow the owner to arrange for the adequate provision of care somewhere other than RISPCA during the court proceedings. Court proceedings can be lengthy and the cost of care could be significant when alternative options, such as a co-owner, may be a reasonable option.
- Prohibit RISPCA from permanently altering an animal in their charge (spay/neuter).
- Allow the owner to obtain an examination of their seized animal by a licensed veterinarian of his or her choice at their own expense.
AKC believes that S.2443 should be explicitly amended to add in such ownership and property protections.
WHAT YOU CAN DO:
S.2443 will be considered by the Senate Committee on Environment and Agriculture at a public hearing on Wednesday, April 27, 2022, starting at approximately 4:00PM.
First, email the Senate Committee on Environment and Agriculture SLegislation@rilegislature.gov with your name and town. In the subject line, type S. 2443 requested amendments. In the body of your email copy and paste (1)-(3) as outlined above for S. 2443, the Cost of Care and Forfeiture Bill.
Second, the Capitol is open to the public and concerned Rhode Island residents can speak at the hearing, which is expected to start around 4:00PM in Room 313 on Wednesday, April 27, at 82 Smith Street Providence, Rhode Island. Sign-up sheets will be available in/outside the hearing room.
AKC GR will continue to provide updates on pending dog-related legislation in Rhode Island. For more information on legislative issues in the state, contact AKC GR at 919-816-3720 or firstname.lastname@example.org.